Machine Consciousness – Challenges and Possibilities 机器意识:挑战与可能性

Talk By Yutao YUE

Mar 21, 2024 Thursday


意识研究被称为“人工智能的终极挑战” ,但这是一个典型的非共识领域,即使在哲学、伦理学之外的科学研究范畴内,不同的意识理论互相差异也比较大,研究者往往来自不同学科背景,研究的角度和粒度往往也多有差异。甚至在2023年出现了100多位研究者联名反对特定意识理论(整合信息论)的现象,并引发Nature杂志上的评论。对很多普通人甚至研究者来说,“意识”往往带有某种“神秘性”。这些都体现了这个领域的复杂性、多样性和活跃性。



Consciousness research is often termed “the ultimate challenge of artificial intelligence,” yet it remains a highly contentious field, marked by significant divergence among theories of consciousness, even beyond the realms of philosophy and ethics. Researchers from various disciplines often have different perspectives and approaches. For instance, in 2023, over a hundred researchers collectively opposed a specific theory of consciousness, the Integrated Information Theory, sparking commentary in the journal Nature. For many, including researchers, “consciousness” carries a sense of “mystique,” underscoring the complexity, diversity, and vibrancy of the field.

Two centuries ago, life phenomena were often considered incomprehensible “black boxes.” However, with the development of disciplines like anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry, many mechanisms of life gradually became decipherable “white boxes.” Today, with rapid advancements in neuroscience, computer science, and artificial intelligence (especially large language models), researchers are delving deeper into the workings, functional traits, and physical foundations of consciousness.

Are we on the verge of unveiling the “black box” of consciousness? Can artificial intelligence systems possess consciousness? This report will share some research and reflections on these key challenges and possibilities.


Mar 21, 2024 Thursday



Rm W1-101, GZ Campus

Online Zoom

Join Zoom at OR 423 685 2791

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Yutao YUE

Associate Professor, Artificial Intelligence Thrust & Intelligent Transportation Thrust, HKUST(GZ)

Dr. Yutao Yue is an associate professor at the Artificial Intelligence Thrust and Intelligent Transportation Thrust of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou). He received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Science and Technology of China, and Master and PhD degree from Purdue University. He has a dual background in academia and industry, as the team leader of Guangdong Province Introduced Innovation Scientific Research Team, senior scientist of Kuang-Chi Group, and the founder of the Institute of Deep Perception Technology of JITRI. His research interests include multimodal perception fusion, machine consciousness, artificial general intelligence, causal emergence, etc. He has been engaged in scientific research and technology industrialization for over 20 years. He has co-invented 354 granted Chinese patents, 18 USA patents, and 7 EU patents. He has led 6 major research projects with a total funding of nearly 130 million RMB. He has published over 60 papers, advised 13 postdoc research fellows, and received multiple awards including Wu Wenjun Artificial Intelligence Science and Technology Award.